Friday, December 01, 2023

Abbott Elementary Post-Oscars Airing, Only Murders on ABC; Remembering Frances Sternhagen, Marty Krofft and Others We Recently Lost

Abbott Elementary

ABC announced that The Oscars(R) will air live coast to coast on Sunday, March 10, in a new earlier timeslot (7:00-10:30 p.m. EDT/4:00-7:30 p.m. PDT). A 30-minute pre-show will lead into the live show (6:30-7:00 p.m. EDT/3:30-4:00 p.m. PDT), and immediately following, ABC will air an original episode of the Emmy(R) Award-winning comedy series Abbott Elementary. The telecast will also be rebroadcast in the Pacific Time zone in primetime after the live presentation. As previously announced, Emmy Award-winning late-night talk show host and producer Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the live show for the fourth time. Raj Kapoor will serve as showrunner and executive producer, with Molly McNearney and Katy Mullan serving as executive producers. Hamish Hamilton is set to direct the telecast. The 96th Oscars will be held at the Dolby(R) Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

ABC will head into the new year with the exclusive broadcast premiere of the Emmy Award-nominated Hulu Original comedy Only Murders in the Building. Season one of the critically acclaimed hit series starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez will air Tuesdays in January, with the first three episodes debuting on Tuesday, Jan. 2, following a new semifinal episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), returning in 2024 on its new night. The airdate schedule for the 10-episode season of Only Murders in the Building is as follows (all times listed are Eastern/Pacific):

· Tuesday, Jan. 2, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Episodes 1-3)
· Tuesday, Jan. 9, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Episodes 4-6)
· Tuesday, Jan. 16, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Episodes 7-9)
· Tuesday, Jan. 23, 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Episode 10)

Only Murders in the Building

Recently renewed for a fourth season, Only Murders in the Building is the most-viewed Hulu Original comedy series ever. The show's first season hails from co-creators and writers Steve Martin and John Hoffman (Grace & Frankie, Looking). Martin and Hoffman executive produce along with Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Jamie Babbit, "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal. From the minds of Steve Martin, Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman comes a comedic murder-mystery series for the ages. Only Murders in the Building follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building, which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it's too late. The series is produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios.


Frances Sternhagen

Tony Award-winning stage and screen actress Frances Sternhagen, who had recurring roles as Esther Clavin in Cheers and as Bunny MacDougal in Sex and the City, has died. She died at her home in New Rochelle, New York, on November 27. Ms. Sternhagen was 93.

Under One Roof - Harold Gould, Ross Harris and Frances Sternhangen

Sternhagen starred as Millie Sprague in 7 episodes of the NBC sitcom Under One Roof in 1985. Millie and Ben Sprague (Harold Gould) were Spencer Winger's (Ross Harris) maternal grandparents. She was the mother of Doris Winger (Mimi Kennedy). The show was originally titled Spencer in 1984 and starred Chad Lowe as Spencer Winger. The cast included Ronny Cox, Amy Locane, Richard Sanders, Beverly Archer, Grant Heslov and Dean Cameron.

Cheers - Frances Sternhagen and John Ratzenberger

She had a recurring role as Esther Clavin in 7 episodes of the NBC sitcom Cheers from 1986 to 1993. Esther "Ma" Clavin is the mother of Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger). It is first mentioned in the third season that Cliff lives with her, for which the other barflies mocked him. One of Esther's pastimes is making pretzels in unintentionally unusual shapes, which Cliff brings them into the bar in "Second Time Around" (1986). Sternhagen received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the role in 1991 and 1992.

Sex and the City - Kyle MacLachlan, Kristin Davis and Frances Sternhagen

Sternhagen had a recurring role as Bunny MacDougal in 10 episodes of the HBO romantic comedy-drama Sex and the City from 2000 to 2002. Bunny MacDougal is the overbearing mother of Dr. Trey MacDougal (Kyle MacLachlan), a manipulative sort who intrudes on Trey and Charlotte's (Kristin Davis) relationship and apartment on a regular basis. She received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the role in 2002.

She provided the voice of Mrs. Bellamy for a 2002 episode of The Simpsons. She guest starred as Naomi in a 2004 episode of Becker.

Stenhagen starred as Charlotte Babineaux in the short-lived 1994 family drama The Family Home. She starred as Gina Williams in the 1991 CBS miniseries Stephen King's Golden Years. She had a recurring role as Millicent Carter, the grandmother of John Carter (Noah Wyle), in 21 episodes of the NBC medical drama ER from 1997 to 2003. She had a recurring role as Willie Ray Johnson in 15 episodes of the TNT police procedural from 2006 to 2012.

Some of her other television guest appearances included The Nurses, The Defenders, Profiles in Courage, For the People, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Law & Order (2 episodes), Tales from the Crypt, The Outer Limits (1995) and Parenthood (2012).

She worked for many years in soap operas. She played Toni Prentiss Davis on Love of Life, Jessie Reddin on The Secret Storm, Phyllis Corrigan on The Doctors (42 episodes) and Jane Overstreet in Another World. She is also recognized as Mrs. Marsh from a series of television commercials for Colgate toothpaste that aired in the 1970s.

Sternhagen gained acclaim for her extensive career on the Broadway stage. She made her debut in The Skin of Our Teeth (1955). She went on to receive two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performances as various characters in Neil Simon's comedic play The Good Doctor (1973) and as Lavinia Penniman in Ruth and Augustus Goetz's dramatic play The Heiress (1995). Her other Tony-nominated roles were for The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (1972), Equus (1975), Angel (1978), On Golden Pond (1979) and Morning's at Seven (2002).

She starred as Sheriff Buster's (Richard Farnsworth) wife Deputy Virginia in Rob Reiner's Misery (1990). Some of her other film credits included The Hospital (1971), Starting Over (1979), Outland (1981), Bright Lights, Big City (1988), Doc Hollywood (1991), Raising Cain (1992), See You in the Morning (1989), The Mist (2007), Julie & Julia (2009), Dolphin Tale (2011) and And So It Goes (2014).

Ms. Sternhagen was a talented and versatile character actress. Her guest appearances as Esther Clavin in Cheers were always funny and memorable. We thank her for the laughs and entertainment she brought us on television for over six decades. She will deeply missed.

Marty Krofft

Television creator, producer, writer and puppeteer Marty Krofft, who worked on H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and Land of the Lost, has died. He died from kidney failure in Los Angeles, California, on November 25. Mr. Krofft was 86.

Marty and his brother Sid made numerous children's television and variety show programs in the U.S., particularly in the 1970s, including H.R. Pufnstuf (1969), Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973-1975), and Land of the Lost (1974-1976) through their production company, Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures. Their fantasy programs often featured large-headed puppets, high-concept plots, and extensive use of low-budget special effects. They designed the characters and sets for Hanna-Barbera's The Banana Splits on NBC from 1968 to 1970.

Some of The Krofft Brothers other credits as creators and producers included The Bugaloos (1970-1972), Lidsville (1971-1973), Far Out Space Nuts (1975-1976), The Lost Saucer (1975), Donny & Marie (1976), The Krofft Supershow (1976-1978) (which included Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976) and Wonderbug (1976-1978)), The Krofft Superstar Hour (aka The Bay City Rollers Show) (1978-1979), Pink Lady and Jeff (1980), Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters (1980-1982), Pryor's Place (1984), Land of the Lost (1991-1992 reboot), Mutt & Stuff (2015-2017) and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (2016-2017 reboot).

The Brady Bunch Hour

They created and produced the 1977 ABC variety show The Brady Bunch Hour. The series starred the original cast members of The Brady Bunch, with the exception of Eve Plumb, who was replaced by Geri Reischl (a.k.a. "Fake Jan"). The show began as a 60-minute special titled The Brady Bunch Variety Hour on November 28, 1976. It featured skits and songs produced by Sid & Marty Krofft Productions in association with Paramount Television.

D.C. Follies

The Krofft Brothers created and produced the 1987-1989 syndicated sitcom D.C. Follies. The show was set in a Washington, D.C. bar, where a bartender played by Fred Willard would welcome puppet caricatures of politicians and popular culture figures. Celebrity guest stars included Martin Mull, Leslie Nielsen, Bob Uecker and Betty White.

Sid and Marty Krofft

Marty and his brother Sid made many entertaining children's television and variety show programs in the 1970s and 1980s. The Kroffts received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 2018. In 2020, the Kroffts were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contributions to television. Sid is still living at age 94. Marty will be greatly missed.

Janet Landgard

We also remember actress and model Janet Landgard. She had a recurring role as Karen Holmby on The Donna Reed Show. She died of brain cancer on November 6. Ms. Landgard was 75.

The Donna Reed Show - Paul Petersen and Janet Landgard

Landgard appeared as Karen Holmby in 11 episodes of the ABC sitcom The Donna Reed Show from 1963 to 1965. Karen Holmby is the girlfriend of Jeff Stone (Paul Petersen). She made her first guest appearance as Sabrina in the episode "All Women Are Dangerous." The series also starred Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares and Patty Petersen.

She guest starred as Georgia Fleck in the 1963 My Three Sons episode "The Proposals." She starred with Burt Lancaster in the 1968 film The Swimmer. She also starred in 1970's Land Raiders with Telly Savalas and the 1974 film Moonchild with Victor Buono.

Ms. Landgard was seen in commercials on television and on magazine covers as a model. She was was interviewed for the behind-the-scenes documentary The Story of the Swimmer in 2014. She will be deeply missed.

Evan Ellingson

Actor Evan Ellingson starred as Kyle Savage on Complete Savages. He died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in Fontana, California, on November 5. Mr. Ellingson was only 35.

Ellingson made his acting debut in the 2001 TV movie Living in Fear and as Young Luke Spencer in a 2001 episode of General Hospital. He had a recurring role as Young 10-year-old Christopher Titus in 10 episodes of the Fox sitcom Titus from 2001 to 2002.

Complete Savages

He starred as Kyle Savage on the 2004-2005 ABC sitcom Complete Savages. The TGIF sitcom is about a single father named Nick Savage (Keith Carradine) struggling to raise his five unruly sons (Jack, Chris, Sam, Kyle, and T.J.) alone, following the abandonment of their mother 10 years previously. Kyle Savage is a rebellious teenager who is unruly and constantly causing chaos. The series also starred Shaun Sipos, Erik von Detten, Andrew Eiden, Jason Dolley and Vincent Ventresca.

CSI: Miami - Evan Ellingson and David Caruso

Ellingson had a recurring role as Kyle Harmon, the son of Horatio Caine (David Caruso) and Julia Winston (Elizabeth Berkley), in 18 episodes of the CBS police procedural drama CSI: Miami from 2007 to 2010.

He guest starred in a 2005 episode of Bones. He had a recurring role as Josh Bauer, the nephew of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), in 10 episodes of the sixth season of the Fox drama 24 in 2007.

Ellingson starred as Jesse Fitzgerald in the 2009 film My Sister's Keeper. It also starred Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Jason Patric and Alec Baldwin.

Mr. Ellingson was a good young actor. Complete Savages was a funny show which should have had a longer run. He will be missed.

Judy Nugent

Actress Judy Nugent starred as Donna Ruggles on The Ruggles. She died from cancer at her Montana ranch, on October 26. Ms. Nugent was 83.

The Ruggles

Nugent starred as Donna Ruggles on the 1949-1952 ABC sitcom The Ruggles. The series was broadcast live. Episodes were recorded on kinescope, and some of them survive in the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The star of the series is comedian Charlie Ruggles, playing a character with the same name. It also starred Irene Tedrow (1949), Erin O'Brien-Moore (1950-1952), Margaret Kerry, Tommy Bernard and Jimmy Hawkins.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included The Life of Riley, The Danny Thomas Show, The Ann Sothern Show, The Dennis O'Keefe Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and The Gertrude Berg Show.

She played Jet Maypen on the Walt Disney Presents: Annette serial on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1958. Some of her other television guest appearances included The Lone Ranger, Adventures of Superman, Annie Oakley, Lassie, The Thin Man, Sugarfoot, The Millionaire, 77 Sunset Strip, Rawhide and The Tall Man (5 episodes).

Some of her film credits included Magnificent Obsession (1954), Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1954) and There's Always Tomorrow (1956).

Ms. Nugent gave up acting after marrying actor Buck Taylor in 1961. The marriage produced a daughter, Tiffany, and three sons, Adam, Matthew and Cooper. We thank her for her work on television. She will be deeply missed.

Stephen Kandel

Television writer Stephen Kandel wrote episodes of Gidget and Room 222. He died in his home on October 21. Mr. Kandel was 96.

Kandel wrote four episodes of the 1965-1966 ABC sitcom Gidget. He wrote four episodes of the ABC comedy-drama Room 222 from 1971 to 1973.

Some of his other writing credits included Sea Hunt, The Rogues, Batman, Star Trek, Iron Horse, I Spy, It Takes a Thief, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Magician, Medical Center, Harry O, Cannon, Hawaii Five-O, Wonder Woman, Hart to Hart, The New Mike Hammer and MacGyver.

He worked as a producer for Iron Horse, The New Mike Hammer and MacGyver (58 episodes from 1985-1988).

Mr. Kandel was a recipient of the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award and the Writers Guild of America Humanities award. We thank him for his work on television. He will be greatly missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 22

Young Sheldon - "A Roulette Wheel and a Piano Playing Dog" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon realizes he is the weakest student in his class; Meemaw is looking to expand her gambling business.

Ghosts - "Man of Your Dreams" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sam learns that one of the ghosts’ powers is to enter the dreams of the livings and influence their decisions. Also, two of the ghosts think they’ve learned the secret to moving on.

The Conners - "Lanford, Toilet of Sin" (The CW, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jackie is faced with a difficult decision that brings the family and community together; Becky starts working a new late-night shift at Casita Bonita; Darlene goes to extreme measures to mend her relationship with Harris.

The Conners - "Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action" (The CW, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dan is disappointed when everyone but Becky forgets about his birthday; Darlene faces another issue; Dan excludes Jackie from the family Christmas Santa photo for mistreating Louise.

Son of a Critch - "Bonfire Night" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark and his friends are excited for bonfire night, but their innocent night takes a turn when Fox gets roped into her brother's illegal activities.

Children Ruin Everything - "Spontaneity" (The CW, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After hearing about Dawn's spontaneous trip to South America, Astrid is determined to be spontaneous herself, even if that means playing hooky from her responsibilities.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 19)

Thursday, February 22

  • Rory Scovel (Physical/Robbie/Ground Floor) - Catch Rory on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Chloë Sevigny (Russian Doll) - Chloë is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi appears on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Solar Opposites/Starved) - Sterling is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Melissa Rauch (Night Court/The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny will be on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) - NBC's Today catches up with Beanie in the 9am hour.
  • Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential) - Bradley talks about Maestro on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Dulcé Sloan (The Great North) - Dulcé kicks off the show with hilarious stories from her memoir Hello, Friends! on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Lisa Whelchel, Nancy McKeon and Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) - On a celebratory episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, the stars of one of Barrymore's favorite TV shows, The Facts of Life, are reuniting to wish her a happy 49th birthday.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-February)

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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